Our Elmhurst Dentist Explains How Foods And Drinks Can Affect Your Oral Health

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on May 15, 2018

Undoubtedly, the tools and formulations that we use to care for our smiles make a huge difference in how smiles look and feel. But, have you ever thought about how much impact your diet can have on your oral health?

When we snack, or sit down to a meal, we coat our teeth and oral tissues in the things that we eat or drink. As you would imagine, this can affect the health and appearance of our teeth over time. Keep reading to learn more from our Elmhurst dentists.

Perhaps the best known dietary threat to optimal oral health is sugar. The truth is that the bacteria that live in our mouths absolutely love sugar; they use sugar as fuel to grown and multiply! So, when you indulge in a sugary drink or treat, you are giving the harmful oral bacteria in your mouth a boost. That’s why it’s best to limit your consumption of sugar, and to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking.

Acidic substances can also wreak havoc on your oral health. When you eat or drink something acidic, your dental enamel becomes temporarily softened. During this time period—about twenty to thirty minutes after you stopped eating or drinking—your enamel is more susceptible to sustaining damage. Fruit juices, sodas, coffee, and red wine are all examples of acidic beverages. In order to safeguard your smile from acid, you want to make sure that you don’t brush your teeth for at least a half hour after eating or drinking. Brushing during this time period may actually be too abrasive, and cause inadvertent damage. It’s also helpful to drink some water, and rinse your mouth with water, shortly after acid exposure.

By being thoughtful about your eating habits, you can give your oral health a boost, and help to prevent dental damage in the future. If you want to learn more about how environmental factors, like food, can affect your smile, please give our Elmhurst dentists a call!